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Former Unshackle Upstate head to lead NFIB in New York

Greg Biryla
Greg Biryla

The National Federation of Independent Business has tapped a business advocacy veteran to serve as its state director in New York.

Gregory Biryla previously served as executive director of Unshackle Upstate Inc., Upstate New York’s largest employer advocacy organization, comprised of regional chambers of commerce and trade associations from across the state.

“We are so pleased to have Greg lead our New York office because he brings top-notch advocacy skills and he has a deep knowledge of business-related legislation,” said Tim Goodrich, NFIB’s executive director of state government relations, in a statement. “Our members can rest assured that someone with a history of business-related policy successes is leading the charge on their behalf in Albany.”

A lifelong New Yorker who was raised in Buffalo and now lives in Rochester, Biryla previously served as Unshackle Upstate’s director of development before being named executive director in 2014. While at Unshackle Upstate, Biryla fostered close partnerships with NFIB, other business associations, trade groups and employer associations across the Empire State. He also served as a top-level staff member in the state Assembly and Senate, working in both Albany and Western New York.

“As the executive director of Unshackle Upstate, Greg Biryla has done an incredible job of advocating for upstate employers and taxpayers,” said Brian Sampson, president of the Empire State chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. Sampson preceded Biryla in his role as executive director at Unshackle Upstate. “He played a critical role in the protection and extension of the property tax cap as well as recent reforms to New York’s Workers’ Compensation program.”

NFIB advocates on behalf of 10,000 small businesses in New York and represents 325,000 members nationwide.

“It’s an honor to be named NFIB’s next state director in New York. New York’s small and independent businesses help drive the state’s economy and provide countless men and women with jobs and opportunities,” Biryla said in the statement. “As the husband of a small business owner, I understand the pride that comes with building a business from the ground up, staking your own course and placing a bet on yourself. I also know there are challenges.

“That perspective will guide my advocacy in Albany and across the state to ensure the voice of NFIB-NY is heard and the interests of small business are advanced,” Biryla added.

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